Movers with a truck, cross state lines
June 5, 2014 10:08 AM   Subscribe

In need of a recommendation for a moving service that would move the contents of my 2-bedroom apartment from Baltimore, MD to Brooklyn, NY.

I would need the moving to service to load the stuff in the truck and then drive it to Brooklyn, NY where it needs to be unloaded. If anyone has had experience with efficient and cost-effective service, I would really appreciate any recommendations you may have!

Thanks in advance!
posted by mooselini to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had a good experience with A Few Good Men College Men Movers for a local move in Maryland. I think they also do long distance moves. You could also check the Maryland section of the Superlist of Moving Company Reviews.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:11 AM on June 5, 2014

Moving isn't efficient or cost effective. I have used Bekins many times and they have always been good to me, but each location is a franchise.

Interstate moves are govered by the US Department of Transportation, and they have very specific tariffs that they have to use.

Get a couple of estimates. Someone will come to your home, look at everything and work up a detailed estimate, pricing is based on weight. You can elect to go with the estimate price, and if they underestimated, they eat the difference, and vice versa. Or, you can have them do the weight, and pay by the pound. I don't recommend this. At all.

Make sure you purchase the Full Value insurance, don't go by the pound, moves can trash your shit like nothing else, and you want to be able to replace your TV, not get the value by weight for it.

Have the movers wrap and pack the most valuable things, and make sure they're UNWRAPPED and work before signing off on them at the distant end. So plug that TV in, before signing.

Get rid of ANYTHING that's on the bubble for the move. Furniture made of particle board, books you haven't read in the past 5 years, mattresses that are near their end of life (especially mattresses---bed bugs!)

Movers will pack your stuff with other loads, so be aware of that.

Brooklyn is a PITA for movers, especially if they have one of those huge Semi-trucks, so give them a VERY good idea of what they can expect at the distant end.

Get boxes at Home Depot, they're really cheap there.

Good Luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:12 AM on June 5, 2014

I have moved twice using Graebel (once from east coast to west coast and another time from one state to another in the west coast) and I would highly recommend them. They are super professional, the drivers are courteous, and the people who load/unload your stuff are really thoughtful and detailed, making sure to protect everything properly.

Some suggestions:
1. They will provide you with as much or as little as you want - if you are short on cash you can just have them load and unload your stuff. Or you can ask for help with packing for a little more, if you find yourself crunched for time in the week leading up to the move date.

2. Tell them whether a big semi-truck will be able to make it down your street and park there for a few hours at a time (for both start and destination locations). It's fine if not, because they can move your stuff to a smaller shuttle truck and bring that to your location instead, but they need to know ahead of time.

3. Ask them for rates on moving supplies like boxes, paper, and tape. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much of a deal they can give you, especially compared to retail rates at stores. Also, on my first move, my moving coordinator took me to their truck dispatch warehouse and the guys there let me take (for free!) boxes that had just been used on a previous move. But honestly, only do that if you don't care if your stuff gets dinged a little. Fresh boxes are always the most secure.
posted by joan_holloway at 12:14 PM on June 5, 2014

I've moved A LOT. During the ten year period from 2001 to 2011, I moved between EIGHT different addresses in FOUR different states.

I have had both good and bad experiences with Allied.

My one experience with United was horrid.

The problem with most major chain movers is that they are franchised... so you'll call, Allied up and they'll give you an estimate with their franchisee for the area you're moving FROM. In DC, DE, MD, and northern VA, that is Bayshore Transportation Company in Wilimington, Delaware. So it's important to remember that the company you're REALLY dealing with when you pick Allied from Baltimore is Bayshore Transportation. Reviews of Allied, United, Mayflower, et cetera will do you no good unless you only read reviews of people who moved FROM Baltimore who used those companies.

For example, I was far, FAR happier with Allied's central Massachusetts franchisee, ABC Moving and Storage (which at the time was also either a Mayflower or United franchisee).

I've also used local moving companies for short (interstate) moves. I moved between New Hampshire and Massachusetts using College Bound Movers of Amherst, NH -- they were absolutely wonderful, but unfortunately they don't serve either the DC/Baltimore or NYC areas. They DID advertise moves between the Boston area and Florida, which makes me wonder why they'll do that but not to and between intermediate destinations -- probably simple demand.

I moved entirely within Maryland using either Two Guys and a Truck or Two Men and a Truck. I don't remember which -- I just remember they were the worst movers I have ever dealt with. I'll be sure to avoid both if I ever have to move again, just to be safe.

Full-service movers tend to be expensive, especially since if you move across any state line (even if your move is only five miles), it's regulated by the US Department of Transportation, including fee structures. You may want to consider driving but not loading/unloading, or loading/unloading but not driving:

When I moved from Massachusetts to Virginia, I held back a lot of stuff from the movers, preferring to move valuables myself -- I overestimated what would fit in my car and had to rent a U-Haul as well. The U-Haul website, when you book a move, also offers companies that provide loading and unloading help at your origin and destination. That may be something to consider if you don't mind driving a U-Haul truck up I-95.

There are also services like ABF U-Pack if you'd prefer to load and unload but not drive.
posted by tckma at 1:50 PM on June 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

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